Panning the Stream: Dagashi Kashi, Aokana, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, Konosuba

Don’t change that dial! Or maybe do…?

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I held off posting this ’cause I was waiting on stragglers, but Reikenzan still isn’t licensed and the rest of this batch has been sitting in my queue for too long, so I figured we’d go with what we have. If Reikenzan gets licensed and makes the watch list, I’ll talk about it in a Rule of Three Review. I’ll also toss out the world’s shortest Sequels & Carryovers post tomorrow, as is custom, but consider this the last Panning post for new series.

We’ve got comedy and fantasy, with varying success. Hit the jump to knock ’em out.

Dagashi Kashi

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Studio: feel.
Based on: The manga by Kotoyama
Streaming On: Funimation (U.S./Canada)

In a Sentence: Shikada “Coconuts” Kokonotsu dreams of leaving his father’s small-town dagashi snack store and becoming a manga artist, but an eccentric chocolate company heiress is determined to see him carry on the family business.

How was it? Just weird enough to work.

Overall
Anime comedies tend to come in two molds: Laugh-out-loud and gag-focused, or ever-present-smile and character-focused. DK wants to be the first but is more of the second, and how (or if) it balances the two will determine whether it maintains its goofy energy or loses its shine. Still, despite feeling like an extended, silly candy commercial at times, Dagashi Kashi has a fun, steady sense of humor, with enough quirks and oddball characters to stay entertaining even when it isn’t hilarious.

There’s a chance it’ll devolve into cheap gags that turn the boys into passive punching bags and the girls into obnoxious bullies (a too-common problem in anime comedies), but one episode is too early to make assumptions, so I won’t worry about that until it becomes an actual trend. For now, I see nothing to hate and a fair amount to enjoy (even the fanservicey bits are pretty amusing) so I’m giving it another two episodes to see how it develops.

And the Rest

Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue (Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm)

Aokana is a high school sports sci-fi with one straightforward concept: There are islands where people can use anti-gravity shoes to fly, and they’ve developed a sport called Flying Circus to play while wearing them. There’s good goofy facial expressions, some amusing scenes and characters (barring the milquetoast token dude), and the series gets full marks for a fairly fresh premise. It’s cute and harmless and totally fine.

It’s also nestled in a genre niche between cute-girls-being-cute and pick-a-gal dating sim, and so while nothing about it sent me running, nothing about it particularly appealed to me, either. Some shows just aren’t your thing. This is one of those for me. I have no hard feelings and wish it well, but it’s unlikely I’ll be back for more.

Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle (Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut)

Deposed prince. School full of battle maidens. A blandly pleasant boy who accidentally drops in on a bunch of bathing girls and gets challenged to a duel by the warrior princess which he will surely win because he is The Protagonist and she is The Girl To Be Won Over By Him. Do I really need to go on? You’ve seen this story before, and it’s been a long time since it was fresh or worth watching. It isn’t here, either.

KONOSUBA (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!)

Konosuba has a decent premise—a protagonist who dies and is given the option to live on in an alternate universe ruled by a demonic tyrant—but it squanders it on an unimaginative fantasy world based on run-of-the-mill video games. Add to that a  voyeuristic camera, noticeably off-model animation, and a pair of mean-spirited main characters, and whatever joy could’ve been found drains away quickly. Dropped before the ending credits.

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